Prepare to be ushered into the inner circle of Nolinski Paris, Jean-Louis Deniot’s alluring interior-design triumph that feels more private member’s club than hotel. You’re a 10-minute northward saunter to the highly decorated Palais Garnier – the opera house that dominates the place de l’Opéra – and your new home from home will certainly give you something to sing about. From the green block of Carrara marble doubling as front desk to the sweep of staircase heading roomward, it’s a hell of a first act that shows you’ve arrived in the world’s most elegant city. Inside the rooms, more like private Parisian mini-apartments, curated art and book collections await, framed with flashes of mirror and gold, high-contrast mouldings and bathrooms lovingly overlaid with 1920s-style tilework. Sinking into the heated pool in the subterranean spa, you’d be forgiven for believing yourself miles away in a restful Swiss retreat. Saying au revoir to Nolinski is a curtain call you’ll never quite be ready for.
12pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from €550.00, including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.75 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include a continental buffet or à la carte breakfast served in the glittering restaurant dining room.
At the hotel
Concierge service, valet, shoe shine and laundry service. There’s no gym on site, but you can book private personal training through a local hotel partnership. In rooms: air conditioning, TV, desk, iPod docking station, Marshall speaker, WiFi, alarm clock, shaving mirror, black-out curtain, tea and coffee facilities, minibar, free bottled water, Nolinski bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Because we couldn’t shake the feeling we were in our very own apartment hideaway, we fell hook, line and sinker for the Nolinski suites. Spacious, exceedingly private, and with separate mini drawing rooms done up to the nines – just the right dose of Parisian class for a few precious days in the capital.
The underground indoor heated pool, both workout and work of art, is open from 7am to 11pm daily.
Enjoy free access to the nothing-less-than-magical subterranean spa, with sauna, steam room, hot tub and serene heated pool. You can book Swiss La Colline treatments, where you’ll bliss out to the soothing effects under a ceiling of sparkling star lights.
Opera glasses for the Palais Garnier; sunglasses for the Jardin des Tuileries.
The restaurant and downstairs common areas, plus some of the guest rooms, are wheelchair accessible.
Kids of any age are welcome to stay, and families can book interconnecting rooms. You can book babysitting or nannying services (with at least six hours’ notice) for €35 an hour through My Little Concierge.
Nolinski Paris follows the Evok hotel group action plan to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. Energy use is measured and controlled, from lighting to water use, plastic straws have been swapped for metal reusables, suppliers deliver products in eco-friendly, often reusable packaging, and there’s a carefully considered recycling programme in place. The kitchen follows ethical sourcing guidelines, buying seasonally and responsibly to protect the long-term future of various species.
Any table in this setting would make for a special meal, but slide onto a banquette at a corner table to get the full view of the room, its occupants and the superbly flamboyant mirrored column with its uplit, fanned crown.
Tailored shapes and a vintage pin.
Nolinski Le Restaurant’s convivial dining room, where the spirit of art deco and the Seventies are marvellously blended, is lively of an evening. Diners commune over chef Philip Chronopoulos’s Med-inspired dishes, such as burrata cauliflower with pesto or crispy, herb-rich ravioli. Breakfast, lunch (12 noon–2.30pm), afternoon tea and dinner (7–10.30pm) are all served here in style to a well-heeled crowd of hotel guests and in-the-know locals.
The Grand Salon is the location for the cosy bar, lit by glowing sconces and tall, tapered candles, and serving cocktails, mocktails and detox juices from 5pm to 1.30am, Thursday to Saturday. Perch on a padded stool at the bar or slink into a round-backed cocktail chair with a glass (we humbly suggest the White Negroni, the Adélita with fig leaf liqueur and truffle oil, or the Lavandou with gin and lavender syrup) and, on occasion, some live piano music.
Order your pick of the chef’s masterful flavour combinations by 10.30pm.
A separate room service menu is available to sate cravings 24 hours a day.
Nolinski Paris is in the first arrondissement of Paris, near the Louvre and the Palais Garnier opera house.
You can reach the hotel from Paris Orly airport in around 40 minutes by car and from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in around 50 minutes.
You can book a hotel transfer from the Gare de Lyon, or hop on metro line 14 for two stops and get off at Pyramides station, which is right by the hotel.
The Pyramides underground car park is two minutes away on foot. A valet parking service is available for €50 a night.
Worth getting out of bed for
You’ll want to make full use of your free access to Nolinski’s atmospheric spa and pool, followed by a feast at Nolinski Le Restaurant and a mind-bending cocktail in the Grand Salon. But there’s much more to explore. Swan around the gilded rooms of the Palais Garnier on a self-guided tour, or, even better, reserve your seat for an operatic recital. Stroll down to the Pont des Arts (around 15 minutes away à pied) for the ultimate river photo op, but go early before you’re jostling for selfie space with the crowds. Trot across its seven Seine-spanning arches onto the Left Bank for a bookshop tour, a wander around the Luxembourg gardens or some high-end retail therapy at the Bon Marché department store. Then wander back up to the quai-side Musée d’Orsay, an old railway station turned art museum hosting largely French works from 1848 to 1914.
If you were impressed by your plates at Nolinski Le Restaurant, try Philip Chronopoulos’s other venture, the nearby double-Michelin-starred Restaurant du Palais Royal. Just a few streets away in a dining room with views over the Palais Royal gardens, delicate dishes such as saffron sole or suckling pig with quince await. Stop in at the fashionable Brasserie l'Emil for dishes such as Burgundy snails followed by roast seabass with vodka butter sauce, or gnaw on tender asparagus or veal chop to a live DJ soundtrack in an intimate corner at Le Costes. In the summer, make sure the rooftop of the Kimpton St Honoré Paris is on your itinerary for finger food and drinks with panoramic views.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this gloriously outfitted hideaway at Paris’s core and unpacked their arcade spoils and pastel-boxed Ladurée macarons, a full account of their genteel city stay will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Nolinski in Paris…
Set in the centre of the outward-coiling snail shell of Parisian arrondissements, Nolinski’s position is undeniably special. The Palais Garnier opera house to the north, place de la Concorde to the west, Jardin du Palais Royal to the east and Seine-side Louvre to the south make up just four of the world-famous attractions you can cross off your city-of-lights bingo card in this area. And it’s all just a few minutes’ walk from the glinting 1930s frontage that welcomes you to the Nolinski. Check into your quarters and be pleasantly baffled by the lack of noise from the tourist-packed streets on the other side of the large sound-proofed windows. Take in the modern deco stylings with the odd 1970s echo thrown in, add in the discreet service and general air of distinguished privacy, and you’ll be settling into your very own Parisian home away from home with unabashed glee. Take your fill at the top-tier restaurant and bar, or descend to the intimate cellar spa to do lazy laps beneath the mirrored ceiling. That’s Paris, à la Nolinski.